by Dan Heffernan
Some time ago, a group of us at AdvantageCS were trying to come up with a short description for Advantage (the application) and were struggling to put it concisely, since Advantage is so many things. It has been described as a CRM, an ERP, a fulfillment system, and an order processing system. We made poor attempts at metaphors to help communicate conceptually what Advantage does – we tried a heart, or the engine of a car. These metaphors broke down quickly. Then we thought of four words that describe the broad areas that Advantage addresses: marketing, sales, distribution, and analysis. We turned this into a marketing campaign: Market, Sell, Deliver, Analyze. Repeat. This is a pretty accurate description of what Advantage does at a high level.
But during this time, …
Here are just a few highlights of Advantage 2014r1.
• The new Scribe Connector module offers an interface to Scribe Online Integration Services, a tool that supports connections between applications and data sources. Scribe Connector can be used to provide integration between Advantage and a CRM system (such as Salesforce.com) for customer adds, updates, and orders. Currently Scribe Connector supports synchronization of customer/address adds and updates (both pushes and pulls), and orders (a one-way push from the CRM to Advantage). Future development is planned to add support for synchronization of other Advantage entities.
• The new Call Center feature supports handling and routing of incoming calls via standard DNIS (Dialed Number Identification Service) numbers, as well as …
Greg Caldwell is the newest member of the Engineering Services team led by Matt Varblow. He comes to ACS from Soar Technology, where he worked as a software engineer on projects for the US Department of Defense.
After three years there, Greg was ready for a change and the idea of a small company with less bureaucracy appealed to him. He is currently working on the ACS eCommerce initiative, nicknamed Cider.
Born and raised in Vermont, Greg knew he wanted to study some form of engineering and chose to attend the University of Michigan, partly because they offered a program in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NAME), which he considered for a time. However, he settled on computer engineering because “computers were more fun.” Greg earned a degree in computer science from …
For most of the 18 ½ years she has worked at ACS, Martha Krieg has helped Advantage clients with their upgrades, serving as the lead upgrade engineer for a dozen or so projects each year. Martha excels at handling masses of data and detail and she puts these skills to good use in working on upgrades. The initial code compare between the previous version and the new is an exercise in detail which Martha truly enjoys.
Perhaps it is her training in Library Science that makes that kind of detail child’s play to her. A native of Ohio, Martha began her education with a bachelor’s of arts in English from the College Of Wooster in Ohio. She and husband, Larry, then moved to Michigan so that they could attend graduate school at the University of Michigan, and they have lived in the area …
Following an extensive implementation project, Newsmax is now live on Advantage. Newsmax Media is an American political news media organization, based in West Palm Beach, Florida. It operates the news website Newsmax.com, and publishes Newsmax Magazine, as well as a host of health and financial newsletters.
The Newsmax project team leads included staff from across the business, including Tara Rebak, Rich Kibler, Marcos Alviar, and Rick Coiras, with many others providing assistance and guidance.
The project was led by ACS project manager Levi Hyssong with technical support and development provided by Derek Johnson and Dave Rees.
Congratulations to both teams for all their hard work, commitment, and determination and thanks also to everyone who contributed.
With apologies for the distasteful cat reference, content creators (authors, publishers, editors, marketers, photographers, teachers, you get the idea) have more ways to represent, package, and sell digital content than they did just a few years ago. In fact, there are so many ways of even talking about digital content that we usually begin meetings with clients and prospects by defining the terms we all use. This exercise alone reveals the myriad ways of attacking this and often results in creative thinking about other ways of monetizing digital "stuff."
Let's start with a straightforward example. A magazine publisher with a number of special interest magazines has three titles on woodworking. Of course, the publisher can digitize each issue of those three titles and sell the digital …
The 5th European Advantage User Group Meeting was held in Copenhagen, Denmark on 27-28 March. Egmont Publishing graciously hosted the event at their Copenhagen offices with Martin Garbrecht serving as the Master of Ceremonies. Martin provided a brief overview of Egmont Publishing's fascinating history (founded in 1878!) and its rise to the top of the European media market. The facilities provided a very comfortable atmosphere, fantastic accommodations, and a beautiful 360-degree view of the heart of Copenhagen.
The meeting continues to grow each year--both in attendees and clients represented. This year there were 30+ attendees from 11 clients representing the UK, France, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, and Portugal. The companies included Egmont Publishing, Maney Publishing, Bayard …
Please stop by the Advantage booth if you will be attending any of the following shows and conferences this spring.
Frankfurt Book Fair, October 8 - 12, Frankfurt, Germany
Media Next, October 20 - 22, New York
Although the calendar says it's spring, I am looking at snow falling outside my window. Tens of millions of people in the U.S. could probably have written that first sentence, so I apologize for being so obvious. But weather always reminds me of travel (probably because it affects it so much), and travel is something we do more of now than our predecessors did. And travel is a big part of my life.
Usually, I am travelling to visit a prospective client to show them how many business problems our software can solve for them. It is impossible to go through a thorough demonstration of our software in a day, because there are so many business problems that it addresses. It's a bit like exploring a mansion. Just when you thought you'd reached the end of the house, you open a door to …
One of the challenges of a company like ours is organizing ourselves in such a way as to be able to serve our existing clients well, implement Advantage at new clients effectively, and push our product into places where our clients will need it to be when they get there. This was brought home to me this week while visiting an AdvantageCS client who needs the products we are developing ASAP!
This is the story at so many of the publishing companies we visit. They are under tremendous pressure to deliver new products to their audience in order to grow and thrive. They are looking to technology companies like AdvantageCS to provide what they need, and speed to market is of the utmost importance.
We’ve made some changes to meet these increasingly crucial demands. Recently, a team of …